All meeting minutes posted on the township website are unofficial minutes. Official copies of minutes may be obtained from the township clerk.
Minutes: October 28, 2010
A regular meeting of the Randolph Township Council was called to order at 8:00 p.m. by Mayor Mitsch. This meeting is held pursuant to the New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act. Adequate notice of the meeting has been provided by posting written notice of the time, date, location and, to the extent known, the agenda of the meeting in Randolph Township. This notice was posted on the Bulletin Board within Town Hall, it was filed with the Township Clerk, and it was provided to those persons or entities requesting notification. Notice was also provided to the Randolph Reporter and the Morris County Daily Record on December 7, 2009, by emailing them the annual resolution adopted by the Council on December 3, 2009. The annual resolution, which included this meeting date, was advertised in the Randolph Reporter, the official newspaper of the Township of Randolph, and in the Morris County Daily Record on December 17, 2009.
Deputy Mayor Napoliello
Also Present: Township Manager John Lovell and Township Attorney Edward Buzak
Mayor Mitsch led the Pledge of Allegiance.
OPEN TO PUBLIC
Judith Stewart, 114 Everdale Road, proposed that a new signal be placed at the intersection of Millbrook Avenue and Sussex Turnpike that would display a green arrow for right turns onto Millbrook Avenue only when traffic is coming from Millbrook onto Sussex. She has submitted this suggestion to the Traffic Advisory Committee and would like the Council to endorse her recommendation in order to make that intersection safer.
Seeing no one further from the public, the public portion was closed.
COUNCIL AND MANAGER REPORTS
Councilman Algeier recently attended a Homeland Security Meeting. The focus of the meeting was primarily on public information. It is their belief that public involvement and concern has decreased since September 11, 2001, and the Committee would like to bring a new awareness to the public. Information will be placed in the quarterly newsletters and on the town website. The Committee will also contact the Board of Education to discuss their plans for emergency preparedness. Councilman Algeier is confident that the Committee has solid plans in place for handling emergencies.
Councilman Loveys attended Clean Communities Day and commented that Mark Caputo and his staff did a great job in organizing the event which was well attended. The Councilman noted that the annual brunch for Parks and Recreation awards will be held on December 12 at 12:00 p.m.
Deputy Mayor Napoliello attended the kick-off meeting for the committee that is studying the various parcels of land that comprise the golf course property. The committee will begin by looking at the part of the property that has contamination issues and will move forward from there.
Mayor Mitsch attended a meeting with Manager Lovell and a number of mayors from Morris County regarding the Susquehanna Roseland transmission line issue.
Councilwoman Price reported that the MAC Committee presented a Parent Power Forum at Center Grove Elementary School recently. Two guest speakers discussed the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. The Councilwoman reported that there will be a bus tour on November 6 sponsored by the Historical Society and the Landmarks Committee. The tour will begin at the Randolph Museum.
Councilman Algeier asked about parent attendance for the MAC presentation at Center Grove School.
Councilwoman Price responded that attendance was light compared to some of their past events.
Councilman Obremski noted that the MAC Committee reported that approximately twenty parents were in attendance. The Committee is re-thinking the parent forum and will most likely not hold another one until the spring of 2012. Several issues discussed include the high cost for the speakers, the difficulty in dealing with one of the speakers, and the Committee’s dissatisfaction with the product delivered by the speaker.
Councilman Algeier asked if the Committee might possibly need new leadership.
Councilman Obremski responded that attendance has not been good and a new direction may be coming at some point. A couple of individuals have not been attending meetings and will be contacted to see if they want to continue on the committee. On a positive note, the YMCA has taken over the Rap Program and initial reports have that going very well.
Manager Lovell reported that the Highlands Scarce Resources Order has been lifted from Randolph. In response to the order being lifted, Unique Systems has signed a contract for the property they have been interested in and architectural work for a new building there has begun. Randolph received bids for the site work for the renovations at the library and senior community center and they were well within budget. The in-house review has been completed and the Manager noted that Paul Ferriero was extremely helpful in his assistance with the architectural specifications. The Manager is hopeful that construction on this project will begin early in 2011. The Master Plan Committee met recently and discussed a myriad of issues. The Committee will develop their recommendations and present them to the Council in the near future. The Manager noted that several people have suggested eliminating the paper newsletter and annual report, however he believes there is a lot of value in communicating with the public in every way possible and, therefore, he is seeking the Council’s approval to keep those items in the budget.
Council indicated their approval to keep the newsletter and annual report in the budget.
(1) Vehicle Maintenance Building
Manager Lovell noted that he will be putting this item on an agenda for serious discussion in December with the hope that the Council will direct him on how they wish to proceed with this project at that time. The Manager has gone through a process of interviewing architects and will be opening up a dialog with the Morris County Improvement Authority to discuss a solar initiative for this project as well as possible financing.
(2) Susquehanna Roseland PSE&G Transmission Line
Manager Lovell reported that he and Darren Carney met with five area mayors and representatives of PSE&G recently to discuss what is going on with the National Park Service review of the proposed alignment of power lines through the Delaware Water Gap. Randolph had previously been eliminated from consideration as a realignment route two years ago and the site that was eventually selected had no impact on Randolph. All of the permits necessary for this project were applied for and approved by various entities. The only thing that was not received was approval from the National Park Service to upgrade the transmission line through the Delaware Water Gap.
The National Park Service has identified several new alignment possibilities, which include those that would impact Randolph, and they are in the process of studying those possibilities. The Manager voiced his concern that the National Park Service doesn’t seem to be concerned about the cost to municipalities for building transmission lines and comments made by them regarding wind power.
The Manager would like to protect Randolph so that we are not the recipient of this transmission line realignment. Mayor Mitsch will be hosting a meeting in several weeks with local mayors to discuss this issue. The Deputy Chief of Staff from Governor Christie’s office and representatives from PSE&G have been invited to this meeting as well. A suggestion was made to include Congressman Frelinghuysen in this process to make him aware of what is happening.
Councilman Obremski asked if the National Park Service is considering using the existing right-of-way.
Manager Lovell responded that the proposal is to use the existing right-of-way and to replace the existing towers with larger towers. The Manager believes that the issue of the larger towers has triggered the study by the National Park Service.
Mayor Mitsch noted that after the meeting, she will revisit this issue with the Council.
(3) Transfer of 575 Millbrook Avenue (aka Bushnell Property) to the Board of Education
Manager Lovell reported that 575 Millbrook Avenue is a residential property purchased several years ago on behalf of the Board of Education. The Board has leased the property from the township for the last five years and has essentially reimbursed the township for all costs. As part of the agreement, the township is now at the point where we must transfer the property to the Board. An ordinance regarding this transfer of property will be placed on the next agenda for introduction.
(4) Donation of Land: Block 47, Lot 6, at 1398 Sussex Turnpike
Manager Lovell reported that he received a letter recently from the owners of this property. It is a seven acre tract with an assessed value of $91,200.00. The property has a power line easement running through it and is wet for the most part, however the issue he is most concerned with is the fact that the property has a number of mine holes from past iron mining days. Some of the mine holes are deep and are filled with water.
The Manager and staff sense that this property has no development potential and is not a positive donation due to the liability of the abandoned mine shafts. Manager Lovell will thank the property owners for their offer, but will gently decline.
The Council expressed their support of the Manager’s assessment.
(5) Shared Services Discussion—Salary and Wage Ordinance
Manager Lovell and Councilman Obremski will be meeting in Mendham on October 29 regarding the Seeing Eye facility. A consultant who may be able to assist in the process of working with the Green Acres diversion will also be at the meeting. A portion of the Heritage 55 property, likely four acres or so, is being considered as a possible swap for this project.
Councilman Algeier expressed concern over the Green Acres requirement for swapping land for projects like this one. The Councilman asked if it would be possible to obtain a report in the near future that could identify where the law is established so that work could begin to revise the regulation. It is his sense that with this law in place, municipalities could be discouraged from trying to find new uses for old structures and will let these buildings and properties fall into disrepair. The Councilman would like to bring this issue to the attention of the appropriate legislative entity.
Manager Lovell stated that Anthony Bucco, Jr. has expressed an interest in helping with this process. He will set up a time when he can discuss this issue with Mr. Bucco and will provide to the Council the statute that guides this process.
Manager Lovell provided a copy of a memorandum of the proposed changes to the salary and wage ordinance and asked that the Council review it and provide comments at the November 4 meeting.
Councilman Metz and Mayor Mitsch expressed concern over the $25.00 per hour clerical salary.
Manager Lovell will invite Mr. Soccio to the next meeting to address the Council’s concerns.
(6) Holiday Care Packages for US Service Men and Women Serving in Iraq and Afghanistan
Manager Lovell reported that a local business, Brighton Cromwell, has taken the lead in promoting this program this year. Last year the event was sponsored by the Morris County Chamber of Commerce and the township was very proactive. The Manager would like to see the program enjoy similar success this year. Manager Lovell asked the Council members to promote this program at their various organizations and he will promote the program on the website. He noted that items are due in Town Hall by December 3 in order for the packages to be delivered to our service personnel in time for the holidays.
Councilman Algeier asked the Manager to provide a list of requested items so that the Council members can distribute that information when they speak with their other groups.
(7) Appellate Decision—COAH
Manager Lovell noted that the Appellate Division decision was handed down and a memorandum from Mr. Buzak summarizing this decision was given to the Council.
Mr. Buzak’s comments included the following:
- With each phase of the Mt. Laurel issue, the complexities have grown substantially
- The court indicated they were reluctant to have to deal with the issue because they felt it was more of a legislative issue than a judicial issue, however since it was a constitutional obligation and no other entity would take it on, the court would
- When the Fair Housing Act was adopted by the legislature, many municipalities felt they would fare better there than in the court
- Randolph, who was in court at the time the Fair Housing Act was enacted, moved to transfer the case out of the court and was denied
- The decision was appealed to the Supreme Court, the decision was reversed, and Randolph began working through the Council on Affordable Housing in 1986
- Randolph got their first substantive certification in 1987 or 1988 and the obligation was significantly different than in the court
- In 1985, the COAH regulations were relatively understandable, however current regulations are much more complex
- In 1999, when the third round of certification was supposed to begin, people were concerned about the upcoming 2000 census and it was felt that it would be beneficial to wait until the census data was available
- COAH came up with the third round regulations in 2003, introducing the concept of growth share
- Many municipalities endorsed the concept of growth share because they would be able to maintain some control over their growth, however many other entities did not embrace the concept
- The regulations adopted in 2004 were challenged and the Appellate Division finally got to it in 2007 and invalidated the rules that were adopted saying it gave the municipalities too much control and would zone in a way that would reduce the need for affordable housing
- The court cited the atmosphere that existed in 1975 regarding affordable housing and did not seem to recognize the shift that has taken place in how affordable housing is viewed now
- COAH adopted new rules in 2008 which tried to balance growth share with a designated number of affordable housing obligations
- The League of Municipalities filed a suite challenging those COAH regulations
- While recognizing that COAH was bound by the Appellate Division’s decision, COAH never appealed to the Supreme Court and never attempted to challenge the court’s decision
- The results of that challenge is before the Council this evening, and that result is an invalidation of growth share
- COAH will have another chance to adopt regulations but they can not utilize the concept of growth share
- If this case does not go to the Supreme Court, COAH will have no choice but to follow the Appellate Division’s decision
- To date, COAH has not filed a petition for certification
- On November 1, a notice of petition of certification was filed on behalf of the League of Municipalities to the Supreme Court
- The Supreme Court does not have to grant this petition for certification, it is discretionary on their part. However, Judge Skillman has made the suggestion that perhaps it is time for the Supreme Court to look at this issue
- Mr. Buzak is cautiously optimistic that the Supreme Court will grant certification and look at the issue of growth share
COMBINED ACTION RESOLUTIONS
Councilman Algeier asked about the resolution dealing with the Paramount Adventure Club.
The Council discussed the possibility of asking for a monetary donation from the club for the use and wear and tear of Randolph’s facilities during this event.
The item will be pulled from the agenda for further discussion and action.
Councilman Metz made a motion to approve Items A through D. Councilman Obremski seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Napoliello
A. Authorizing Award of Contracts—2011 Model Vehicles on Behalf of MCCPC
WHEREAS, the Township of Randolph on behalf of the Morris County Cooperative Pricing Council authorizes an award of various categories for 2011 Model Vehicles under Contracts #15-A, #15-B, #15-C, #15-D and #15-E as noted:
Contract #15-A: Police Pursuit Vehicles (4 Categories)
Contract #15-B: Administrative Passenger Vehicles (5 Categories)
Contract #15-C: Utility Vehicles (14 Categories)
Contract #15-D: Dump Bodies (10 Categories)
Contract #15-E: Hybrid Vehicles (2 Categories)
WHEREAS, bids have been advertised and received on September 21, 2010, on behalf of the Morris County Cooperative Pricing Council in accordance with the “Local Public Contracts Law” for the contracts noted above; and
WHEREAS, the Township of Randolph has determined that the vendors on the attached bid award recommendation sheet are the lowest responsible bidders meeting the specifications for each individual contract and should be awarded as noted.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris, and State of New Jersey, that the above-referenced contracts for the 2011 Model Vehicles, Contracts #15-A, #15-B, #15-C, #15-D and #15-E be awarded on behalf of the Morris County Cooperative Pricing Council.
B. Authorizing Purchase of Used 2005 International Model 4300 With New Hook Loader—$72,630.00
WHEREAS, the Township of Randolph wishes to award a contract for the purchase of a used 2005 International Model 4300 with brand new hook loader and trade of 1996 Ford F800 Single Axle Truck with 10' Stainless Highway Spreader; and
WHEREAS, eight bid packets were mailed and one bid was received; and
WHEREAS, Tony Sanchez Ltd., Ledgewood, New Jersey, was the low bidder and meets all the specifications at a total contract price of $76,360.00 and a trade in allowance of $4,000.00 making the total $72,630.00; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, that a contract be awarded to Tony Sanchez Ltd., Ledgewood, New Jersey, at a total contract price of $72,630.00.
CERTIFICATION OF AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS
Dated: October 28, 2010
As required by N.J.S.A. 40A:4-57, N.J.A.C. 5:30-14.5, and any other applicable requirement, I, Michael J. Soccio, Director of Finance of the Township of Randolph, have ascertained that funds are available in Ordinance 11-10, Various Capital Improvements—DPW Equipment, to award a contract to Tony Sanchez, Ltd., for the Purchase of a Used 2005 International Model 4300 Equipped with Brand New Hook Loader and Trade-In of 1996 Ford F800 Single Axle Truck with 10' Stainless Highway Spreader in the amount not to exceed $72,630.00.
Michael J. Soccio
Chief Financial Officer
C. Amending Professional Services Agreement to Larry Cohen for Conflict Counsel for Tax Appeals—Not to Exceed $18,000.00
WHEREAS, an agreement was awarded to Larry Cohen of Courter, Kobert & Cohen on March 4, 2010, and Amendment I awarded on July 1, 2010; and
WHEREAS, the original agreement was in the amount of $5,000.00 and Amendment I was $3,000.00 and an additional $10,000.00 is needed; and
WHEREAS, the total of this contract with Amendment II will not exceed $18,000.00; and
WHEREAS, funds are available for this purpose.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, authorize the Township of Randolph to amend this contract with Larry Cohen of Courter, Kobert & Cohen, as described herein.
CERTIFICATION OF AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS
Dated: October 28, 2010
As required by N.J.S.A. 40A:4-57, N.J.A.C. 5:30-14.5, and any other applicable requirement, I, Michael J. Soccio, Director of Finance of the Township of Randolph, have ascertained that funds are available in the 2010 Budget, Legal, Other Expense, to amend the contract with Larry Cohen of Courter, Kobert & Cohen in the amount not to exceed $10,000.00.
Michael J. Soccio
Chief Financial Officer
D. Authorizing Acceptance of a Grant from the Morris County Joint Insurance Fund for Base Accreditation Services and Execution of a Grant Agreement
WHEREAS, the Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (“CALEA”) and the State of New Jersey Associations of Chiefs of Police offer a program to obtain accreditation in order to attain the highest standards of police department management; and
WHEREAS, the Morris County Joint Insurance Fund is seeking to encourage police departments to pursue such excellence by providing a grant in the amount not to exceed $50,000 to support Randolph Township’s Police Department’s efforts to attain accreditation from CALEA; and
WHEREAS, the Chief of Police and the governing body believe that the attaining of such certification is consistent with the goals of the Randolph Police Department; and
WHEREAS, the Chief of Police is committed to taking necessary action in order to support the accreditation process.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Randolph, in the County of Morris, and State of New Jersey, as follows:
1. The Mayor, Township Manager, and Chief of Police are hereby authorized to enter into a Grant Agreement with the Morris County Joint Insurance Fund for the receipt of funding not to exceed $50,000 for the CALEA accreditation program.
2. The Township agrees to abide by the terms of the Grant Agreement to attain certification within two years of the date of the agreement.
3. This Resolution shall take effect immediately.
E. Supporting the Paramount Adventure Club’s 9th Annual Triathlon Competition—July 10, 2011
Pulled from the agenda.
REVIEW AND SET PROPOSED AGENDA FOR NOVEMBER 4, 2010 REGULAR MEETING
Councilman Obremski asked why there are so many resolutions for the overpayment of taxes.
Manager Lovell responded that many are mortgage re-finances.
There were no further questions or concerns regarding the proposed agenda.
OPEN TO PUBLIC
Seeing no one from the public, the public portion was closed.
COUNCIL AND MANAGER COMMENTS
Councilman Algeier asked if a date has been set for the Senior Holiday Luncheon.
Manager Lovell responded that he will find out and report that to the Council.
Councilman Metz asked if the Planning Board has re-visited the movable sign issue.
Councilman Algeier responded that the sub-committee has been directed to re-visit that issue and report back to the Planning Board. Their new assignment is to draft a letter stating their concerns, whether they be over which organizations can or can not use the signs, which organization controls the sign, etc., and submit that letter to the Council for further consideration.
WHEREAS, Section 8 of the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 231, P.L. 1975 (N.J.S.A. 10:4-12) permits the exclusion of the public from a meeting under certain circumstances; and
WHEREAS, this public body is of the opinion that such circumstances presently exist.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, in the County of Morris, and State of New Jersey, as follows:
1. The public shall be excluded from the following portion of the meeting.
2. The general nature of the subject matter to be discussed is as follows:
3. As nearly as now can be ascertained, the matter or matters to be discussed at this time will be disclosed to the public at such time and under such circumstances as are prescribed by law.
4. At the conclusion of the closed Executive Session, the Council may reconvene in public session for the purpose of taking formal action on matters discussed in closed session or on any other matter as permitted by law.
Councilman Obremski made a motion to move into Executive Session at 9:30 p.m. Councilman Loveys seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Napoliello
Donna Marie Luciani